Bonum Certa Men Certa

A Novell Vice President Quits, Company Initiates 'Damage Control'

"Yes, it's a major blow, but..."

The following press release was produced by Novell and published just hours ago:

Novell today announced that Thomas M. Francese, executive vice president of worldwide sales, will leave the Company, effective July 31, 2008.

This seems like a preemptive strike. It's likely that Novell did not want such news to 'leak' and be interpreted nagatively.

Thomas Francese's departure is very near. It will be joining other major departures like that of Joseph LaSala and Bruce Lowry. Recently, it even turned out that Novell's SUSE evangelist had left the company because of the secrecy around the Microsoft deal. There seems to be somewhat of a stampede, and at least one documented exodus. Perhaps the smart ones see what's coming.

Here is a short article covering this latest departure.

Novell Inc. revealed the resignation of Thomas Francese as executive vice president of worldwide sales, effective July 31, 2008.

Now comes damage control.

Muhammed Saeed al Sahaf

Less than one hour later (maybe simultaneously even) came this:

Novell (NOVL) Reaffirms FY08 Outlook

Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) reiterated its previously issued FY08 guidance of sales in the range of $940-$970 million, versus the consensus of $ million. Non-GAAP operating margins are expected to be 7-9%, excluding all acquisition-related intangible asset amortization.

Here is the press release.

Business software maker Novell Inc. on Tuesday reiterated its outlook for fiscal 2008 revenue between $940 million and $970 million.

Did that stunt eventually work? Were investors excited by this non-news (merely a reiteration)? Apparently not.

Shares of the company fell more than 2 percent to $6.21 in trading after the bell. They closed at $6.36 in regular trade Tuesday on Nasdaq.

After the company's very recent financial woes (disguised though), Novell ought to worry about disintegrating in the hands of its main rival, with which it chose to liaise.

Sell Novell

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